Desjardins Foundation's first recognition event benefits youth

MONTREAL, June 2, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Desjardins Foundation held its first public recognition event Saturday, May 31, in the Complexe Desjardins's Grande Place. The organization, which has distributed more university scholarships than any other non-profit organization in Quebec, used the occasion to announce that Desjardins Group will contribute more than $3 million to the Foundation in 2014.  This follows a year in which $450,000 was raised by Desjardins employees, officers and retirees. The new funds will finance more Foundation scholarships and provide programs to counter school dropout.

Monique F. Leroux, Desjardins Group Chair of the Board, President and CEO, and Desjardins Foundation's Chair of the Board, was the guest of honour for the event, called Spread Your Wings.

The inspirational evening assembled more than 600 business leaders from the Montreal area to celebrate the important roles that youth are taking in the social, economic, cooperative, artistic and athletic arenas. The event raised close to $300,000.

"Talent and education are growth factors in our economy, and we should be making sure kids can follow their dreams. Desjardins Foundation scholarships are trusted and recognized; they serve as a motivator for success," said Ms. Leroux. "I commend and thank the business community for donating tonight. They are coming together in support of youth from a wide range of backgrounds and various fields of study, letting them know that they have a role to play in building our future."

There were approximately 20 scholarship winners in attendance and four former scholarship winners who had volunteered to mentor the young people at the event. Dominique Anglade (Montréal International), Claude Mongeau (Canadian National), Henri-Paul Rousseau (Power Corporation) and Sylvain Vincent (Ernst & Young) spoke about how the Desjardins Foundation scholarships can make a difference in students' lives.

"I was a Foundation scholarship winner and I remember how proud I felt. A big company saw something and invested in me. I was more motivated than ever to succeed and finish my program," said Sylvain Vincent, managing partner for Eastern Canada at Ernst & Young.

About Desjardins Foundation

Known for distributing more university scholarships than any other charitable organization in Quebec, Desjardins Foundation supports research, training, skills acquisition and employability. The Foundation also develops programs to reduce school dropout rates. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded $14 million to more than 10,000 students and young entrepreneurs. More than 700 scholarships and prizes totalling over $1 million are awarded annually. The Foundation also recognizes the community involvement and volunteer work of its officers, employees and members throughout Quebec.

SOURCE Desjardins Foundation

For further information:

(for media only):
Francine BlackBurn
Media Relations
Desjardins Group
514-281-7000 or 1-866-866-7000, ext. 7544
medias@desjardins.com